The Dallas Mavericks are making a statement by dominating the rest of the NBA.
Dallas looks to become the first NBA team in seven years to win 18 consecutive games Monday when it visits the Golden State Warriors.
The Mavericks (52-9) extended their franchise-record winning streak to 17 games Sunday when they humiliated Los Angeles 108-72, handing the Lakers their worst home defeat since that franchise moved from Minneapolis in 1960.
The win was also Dallas’ most lopsided of 2006-07, and matched Phoenix’s 17-game run from Dec. 29-Jan. 28 as the longest in the NBA this season. Dallas hosts the Suns on Wednesday.
The Mavericks, who have not lost since a 96-85 defeat at Chicago on Jan. 25, are also the first team in league history to have three winning streaks of 12 games or longer in a season.
Their 17-game run since is tied for the seventh-longest in league history. Of the six teams to win 18 games or more in a row, five went on to win the NBA title. The most recent of those clubs was the 1999-2000 Lakers, who won 19 in a row - third-most in league history - en route to the first of three consecutive championships.
Dallas is three shy of the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks’ 20-game streak, and well short of Los Angeles’ NBA-record 33 consecutive victories in 1971-72.
The Mavericks are winning by an average margin of 13.2 points during the run, and have held four of their last six opponents under 90 points.
“We’ve been able to do a lot of good things with our defense,” Dallas swingman Jerry Stackhouse said. “Something we learned from the playoffs last year is we have to finish. Momentum’s what we’re trying to build now, build up enough momentum during the regular season to steam through the playoffs.”
Dallas has struggled against Golden State recently, though, dropping three straight games in the series including a 107-104 loss at home Nov. 6 in this season’s only other meeting.
The Warriors (29-36) had their modest three-game winning streak snapped Sunday, losing 106-87 at Portland as starting point guard Baron Davis unexpectedly missed the game with stiffness in his surgically repaired left knee.
Davis, whose status for Monday is uncertain, was not ruled out of Sunday’s loss until five minutes before tipoff, according to Golden State coach Don Nelson.
“My knee was stiff and sore,” said Davis, the team’s leading scorer with 20.7 points per game. “It was hurting and that was about it.”
The Warriors lost a season-high six games in a row from Feb. 24-March 4, when Davis was sidelined due to the same knee. They then won three in a row upon his return.
“It’s hard to believe one guy could have this much effect on a team, but that looked to be the case,” said Nelson, who coached the Mavericks from 1997-2004. “He wanted to play late in the game but we weren’t playing well and I didn’t think we had a chance to win the game so I decided to wait another.”